Connect with us


SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference? (+Which Works Best)



SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference? (+Which Works Best)

SEO vs. SEM: What’s the difference between these marketing tactics? You’re about to find out!

SEO (search engine optimization) is about getting traffic and leads from organic results on search engine pages. SEM (search engine marketing) is a broader strategy for getting traffic from both organic results using SEO and paid results through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

SEO vs. SEM - diagram of differences between all three strategies

Both can be game changers for growing your business. Just think of all the people that could be customers if they only saw your listing at the top of their search results.

But SEM and SEO require different investments, deliver different results, and work on different time scales. And that’s what we’ll break down for you in this guide.

By the end, you’ll be able to confidently choose which search marketing strategies are right for you—and have plenty of tips to do them all really well.

Table of contents

SEO vs. SEM vs. PPC: What’s the difference?

To make things really clear, SEO is one part of SEM. PPC—pay-per-click ads—ads are the other. Comparing SEO vs. SEM is like comparing pickup trucks to vehicles. The first is a subset of the second.

SEO vs. SEM - images showing differences between SEO and SEMSEO vs. SEM - images showing differences between SEO and SEM

What we’re really comparing is SEO vs. PPC.

With that cleared up, let’s look at the definitions and tactics involved in each.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization describes the actions you take to get your web pages to rank in organic search results. Meaning, the results that show up on search engines that aren’t paid ads.

The goal of SEO is to make sure your business ends up at the top of search engine results when someone searches for the product or service you provide.

SEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google review for pet storesSEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google review for pet stores

That’s a powerful result since nearly a third of all local business searches lead to a purchase within 24 hours!

You can break down SEO into several tactics, all working together to get you more traffic and leads from search engines.

Keyword research

The first step in SEO is knowing which keywords people use to find businesses like yours. That’s where keyword research comes in.

SEO vs. SEM - examples of keywords for local businessesSEO vs. SEM - examples of keywords for local businesses

You can find keywords using free tools like:

➕ Choosing the right keywords is one way to help boost your website’s SEO. This guide to getting on the first page of Google is chock full of other tips to get more clicks on search engines!

On-page SEO

On-page optimization includes using the relevant keywords you’ve found in various places throughout your website. That helps search engines know what your website is about so they can surface your site on the right results pages.

Here are a few places to include keywords on your website:

SEO vs. SEM - highlights of title tags and meta descriptions.SEO vs. SEM - highlights of title tags and meta descriptions.

On-page SEO also means adding internal links that point from one page of your website to another. Those internal links help search engines (and people!) navigate your site.

Off-page SEO

Off-page optimization refers to all the things you do outside of your own website to tell search engines that your pages belong at the top of search results.

Link building (a.k.a. getting backlinks from trusted websites) and growing your presence on business directories like Google Business Profile and Yelp are important parts of off-page SEO.

SEO vs. SEM - screenshot of Google's local 3-pack resultsSEO vs. SEM - screenshot of Google's local 3-pack results

Optimizing your Google Business Profile will help you get a spot on the coveted Google 3-pack.

The more often your business is referenced on high-value websites, the more the likes of Google trust it enough to share it.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimizing your site for mobile devices, as well as improving site speed, crawlability, and indexing. Basically, it’s everything you do to help search engines navigate and understand your site.

Most technical SEO starts with an SEO audit. That clues you in on what’s working and what’s not optimal about your website so you can make improvements.

🚨 Want to know how your website SEO is performing? Try our free website grader to get your score!

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing includes everything we’ve mentioned about SEO plus pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategies that drive traffic and leads from paid ads on search engines.

SEO vs. SEM - screenshot showing paid and organic resultsSEO vs. SEM - screenshot showing paid and organic results

Since we’ve already covered the SEO part of SEM, let’s review PPC.

What is PPC?

Pay per click is a version of digital advertising where you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. PPC ads often appear above the organic results, giving them a valuable spot for getting clicks.

SEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google results showing adsSEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google results showing ads

When someone clicks on one of these ads, the website owner pays Google a little bit of money.

Like SEO, PPC has a few tactics that add up to a successful strategy.

PPC keyword research

In PPC advertising, you bid in an auction for the chance to get your ad shown on results pages. The success of your bid depends on the dollar amount you’ve offered as well as the trustworthiness of your website and its relevance to the keyword.

So PPC keyword research is about finding the keywords to bid on that you can afford and that you have a chance to win.

Bid strategy

Your bid sets the price you’ll pay for each click you get from a paid search ad. The more you bid, the costlier each click but the better chance you have to win.

There’s an art and science to bid management. That’s why most search platforms offer some form of automated bidding option.

Quality score

Your Quality Score is a big factor in how Google decides your cost per click which affects how much you pay to convert a search engine user into a customer. On average, the higher your score, the less your ads, and subsequent conversions, will cost.

SEO vs. SEM - dot graph showing higher CPCs for lower quality scores.SEO vs. SEM - dot graph showing higher CPCs for lower quality scores.

Your quality score is based on several factors, including:

  • Your click-through rate
  • The relevance of the keywords you’ve chosen
  • The quality and relevance of your landing pages
  • The relevance of your ad’s text
  • Your historical performance with Google Ads

Ad content

Since your Quality Score and bid strategy are affected by the content of your ads, the copy and images you choose are an important part of PPC.

There are lots of ways to optimize PPC ads and improve your chances of winning bids and getting clicks. In short, you want to make sure your ads match the intent of your bid keyword and that they stand out on crowded search pages.

SEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google results showing creative ad copySEO vs. SEM - screenshot of google results showing creative ad copy

🤷 Why guess at the quality of your search ads? Use our 100% free Google Ads Grader to quickly learn how your Google Ads are performing and get steps to make them even better.

SEO vs. SEM: Cost

Whether you’re focused on SEO or running all PPC, you’ll incur some costs. They just come at different stages of the campaign.

SEO has high upfront costs that pay off over time

With SEO, the bulk of the cost is upfront. You need to spend a lot of time, and potentially money, to create content and set up your website to rank on search engines. A single, competitive blog post can be upwards of 3,000 words and take a day or days to research, write, and get backlinks for.

SEO vs. SEM - list of posts and their word countSEO vs. SEM - list of posts and their word count

But once that page hits the search engine big time, it can deliver traffic for months (sometimes years) without touching it again.

PPC has steady costs for the life of a campaign

PPC, on the other hand, usually costs less upfront since you can run a campaign with a single ad that’s only a few words long. But then you continue to pay the search platforms for the life of the campaign. As soon as you turn off the money tap to Google or Bing, you stop getting traffic immediately.

SEO vs. SEM: Speed

How fast you get results and how long those results last are big differentiators between SEO vs. PPC.

SEO is a long-term play

It can take months for you to see significant amounts of traffic from organic search results. And potentially longer to nab the very top spots on search engine results pages.

Authority Tracker’s team conducted a study to prove this. They found that on average, informational posts that rank number one on Google are several years old.

SEO vs. SEM - Graph showing age of posts and their google rankingSEO vs. SEM - Graph showing age of posts and their google ranking

But remember, that also means a great post that ranks well can hold its position for a long time, too. You could get traffic from something long after you forgot you even created it.

SEM is immediate

In contrast, PPC ads are more like a lamp. You get results almost immediately after flipping the switch. It works both ways, though. Once you flip that switch off and stop paying for clicks, you won’t get any more traffic from that ad.

SEO vs. SEM: How to choose for your business?

We’ve seen the benefits, negatives, and differences of both sides of SEM—organic SEO and PPC. As a business, which strategy should you invest in?

Advertising budget

Paying to advertise on search engines can be expensive. The average cost for a single click from a PPC ad can be over $9 depending on which industry you’re in.

SEO vs. SEM -graph of PPC costs by industrySEO vs. SEM -graph of PPC costs by industry

If you work in a competitive industry and don’t have a large advertising budget, you might consider focusing on organic search for a while. Especially optimizing your Google Business Profile and getting listed on other business directories.


Related to budget is the ROI you need to get from your search engine marketing. The investment you make needs to leave room for a profit.

Let’s say you sell a product that costs $20 and you make one sale for every 100 clicks from a PPC ad. If the average cost per click is $2, it’ll cost you $200 to make a $20 sale.

A few relevant, organic keywords placed strategically throughout your website, and an SEO-focused blog, would be better investments.


It’s not always possible to wait for the long-term benefits of SEO to kick in. That’s where paid search really shines. Whether you’re a new business, launching a new product, or just need to grow in your territory quickly, PPC ads will jump you to the top of search engine pages and deliver high-intent traffic right away.

That said, if you have the bandwidth to do both, you can publish some content and work on other on-page SEO steps while running PPC ads.

Targeted keywords

Different types of keywords lend themselves to different search marketing approaches.

SEO is a better strategy for informational keywords because the people searching for them show an intent to learn, not buy. Highly competitive keywords that suggest purchase intent, on the other hand, are perfect for PPC ads.

Here’s an SEO vs. SEM example. Let’s say you run a lawn care business. It would be great to rank highly for the term “when should I water my lawn” because people searching for that key phrase likely have lawns and are interested in making them look good.

But notice that there aren’t many ads on the results pages for that keyword.

SEO vs. SEM -screenshot of organic google resultsSEO vs. SEM -screenshot of organic google results

That’s because those searchers aren’t necessarily looking to hire a landscaper right now. So if you spend money to get those clicks through PPC ads, it’d be hard to make your money back. SEO is your best bet for these informational keywords.

Let’s flip it and look at the results for “best lawn care Dallas TX.”

SEO vs. SEM - google results showing adsSEO vs. SEM - google results showing ads

This keyword would probably get you lots of highly motivated prospects clicking to your sight. So you see more ads from companies looking to capture that purchase intent.

There are organic results on the page, too. But it’s such a valuable keyword that it could take months or years for your pages to rank there organically. That’s why these keywords are worth an investment in the paid side of SEM.

SEM and SEO in digital marketing

The fact that SEO delivers different results at a different pace than other SEM strategies doesn’t put them at odds. Instead, it makes them the perfect one-two punch for fast growth.

When you combine SEO with PPC, you get multiple placements on search engine results pages and instant results that also compound over time. The best of all worlds!

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Everything You Need to Know




Everything You Need to Know

When Google first introduced its Performance Max campaigns, it set off with a goal to make advertising across all of its properties (search, display, video, Discover, Gmail, and Maps) simple to manage within one campaign type.

Getting started with Performance Max campaigns is easy. Optimizing Performance Max campaigns? Well, that can be much more difficult.

Luckily, Google recently released a new beta feature for Performance Max campaigns called “search themes” designed to help advertisers better target their ads with a similar keyword-inspired approach that most advertisers are used to. In this article, we’re covering what search themes are, how to create them, and how to use them the right way.

Table of contents

What are search themes for Performance Max campaigns?

Google’s fully automated campaign type allows you to control very little. You can improve your different ad assets, website, product feed, and even provide audience signals to better target your Performance Max campaigns–but that’s still very lacking to the rest of Google Ad’s targeting options. Especially for most of us who are used to running search campaigns with robust keyword targeting options–running search ads through Performance Max campaigns can be a frustrating experience.

Search themes are a new feature that allows advertisers to provide some additional context and signals to Google to help target their Performance Max campaigns. Advertisers can provide search themes to Google to share how they expect their customers to search for their products or services.

With this additional context, Google can consider these search themes as new signals to target audiences based on their search behavior. Google may use these search themes to better refine their Performance Max campaign targets, or to reach new relevant placements on the SERP and beyond.

google ads search themes in performance max campaigns

Search themes is an optional feature in Performance Max campaigns. However, we’ve seen time and time again that Performance Max campaigns perform the best when they’re given better signals, so I’d encourage you to provide Google with at least a few search themes to give Google enough signals to optimize your campaigns with. Advertisers can provide up to 25 search themes per asset group.

🛑 Worried you’re wasting spend in Google Ads? Find out with a free, instant audit >> Google Ads Performance Grader

Search themes are set to replace custom segments based on search intent

Within Google’s most recent announcement introducing Search themes, Google also shares that they’ll be ending support for custom segments based on past search activity within Performance Max campaigns in early 2024. These audience segments will automatically be upgraded to Search Themes.

Previously known as “Custom Intent” audiences, these audiences used very similar signals to the new Search themes, effectively targeting people based on their past searches on Google. Since this audience signal is so similar to Google’s new “search themes” beta, the automatic upgrade in 2024 is unlikely to negatively impact campaign performance. Hopefully, it streamlines workflows and makes signal management easier for advertisers.

google ads search themes in performance max replacing custom segmentsgoogle ads search themes in performance max replacing custom segments

Custom segments based on previous search activities will continue to function uninterrupted in other campaign types, including search campaigns. Additionally, all other custom segments based on other attributes (affinities, interests, apps, URLs, and demographics) will continue to exist in Performance Max campaigns and serve as valuable audience signals for Google’s ongoing optimization.

How do I create search themes in my Performance Max campaigns?

Search themes is a new feature in beta and may not currently be available to all advertisers, however, Google is expected to release it to more advertisers throughout the rest of the year.

  1. To add search themes to your Performance Max campaigns, simply:
    Select a Performance Max campaign.
  2. Select an Asset group. Each asset group can have different audience signals and search themes.
  3. Next to your ad assets in your Asset group, you’ll notice a card for “Signals.” Select the pencil icon to edit your to set up search themes in performance max - signals audience segmenthow to set up search themes in performance max - signals audience segment
  4. Here, you’ll see the new Search Themes beta. Advertisers can add up to 25 unique search themes per asset group to help improve the signals of their Performance Max campaign. Each search theme must be shorter than 80 characters in ads search themes set up in performance maxgoogle ads search themes set up in performance max
  5. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and save your changes to your Asset group signals!

Search themes can also be edited or removed at any time from this menu. Once changed or removed, Google will no longer use that signal when targeting its ads to an audience.

But removing a search theme isn’t like removing a keyword or adding a negative keyword in a search campaign–Google may continue to serve ads on similar search queries if it believes it’s relevant to users. However, Search themes will still respect any brand exclusions or account-level negative keywords that you’ve implemented. If you want to prevent your Performance Max campaigns from serving for irrelevant and unwanted traffic–you’ll still want to use those tools!

⚡️ Is your Google Ads account set up for success? Download now >> The Last Guide to Google Ads Account Structure You’ll Ever Need

How will search themes in Performance Max campaigns affect my search ads?

Performance Max campaigns and traditional search campaigns are both eligible to serve ads on the Google SERP and search partner engines. Advertisers who are running both Performance Max campaigns and search campaigns will often run into issues where both campaign types are targeting the same searches and risk serving different ad experiences to the same searches or struggle to manage the two campaigns synchronously. Using search themes in Performance Max may ease some of those issues for advertisers.

In these issues where multiple campaigns or ad groups are eligible to serve an ad to a searcher, Google prioritizes exact match keywords that are identical to the search above all others. Google’s new Search themes are treated as a lower priority, equal to that of phrase and broad match keywords.

google ads search themes - match types prioritized in google adsgoogle ads search themes - match types prioritized in google ads

Your exact match keywords in your search campaigns will also take priority over your Performance Max campaigns–so they’re still a must-have for advertisers now.

Best practices for using search themes in Performance Max campaigns

While nearly all additional data and context will help these Performance Max campaigns continue to improve, advertisers can make the most of search themes in their accounts by following a few tips.

1. Use search themes to provide information missing from your landing pages

If you’ve just launched a new product or website, your landing page may not include every single feature, benefit, use, value, and detail that a searcher might consider–and that’s okay! In fact, a clean and simplified landing page may help more people convert on your site.

If Google can’t find that context from your landing page–fret not. Liberally use search themes in your Performance Max campaigns to provide those extra signals to Google so it best understands what your audience may be looking for and can optimize its placements accordingly.

2. Be direct—especially when using ulterior brand messaging

What does direct mean? Well, consider the well-known fast-casual restaurant Hooters. If you were to just read their website or its descriptions, you might mistakenly describe their business as a chicken wings restaurant. But we all know that there are a few missing keywords in that description that serve their core value prop and distinguish them from similar competitors.

There’s nothing shameful about having hidden benefits that you don’t expressly convey within your ads or on your website. Maybe your hotel welcomes all but is known best for catering to families, tourists, a religious community, foreign-speaking nationals, or people recovering from a nearby medical procedure, or maybe it has a history of being haunted. You might not want to explicitly write some of that on your website or within your ads—but if someone is specifically looking for a paranormal vacation a Sabbath-friendly accommodation, or a sanctuary nearby their treatment, advertisers can use search themes to better signal their ads within a Performance Max campaign.

3. Maximize your varied and unique search themes

Advertisers are allowed up to 25 search themes within each asset group. Generally, the more signals you can provide to Google, the better your Performance Max campaigns will perform. However, quantity isn’t the only factor in quality.

Treat your search themes similar to how you’d treat broad match keywords in your search campaigns–make sure that they aren’t effectively the same signal. For example, the search themes “car” and “automobile” will reach the exact same audience and won’t improve performance incrementally.

4. Consider competitor terms as search themes

Especially if you’re a new brand on the market–this will help Google more quickly understand who your prospects are currently searching for. Google allows bidding on your competitors’ keywords (in many cases) within your search campaigns and includes your competitor’s brands and product names as search themes. Before implementing this strategy, however, make sure that you understand any local laws or regulations about how you can advertise on competitor brands and trademarks.

5. Use traditional search campaigns alongside your Performance Max campaigns

Search themes are a powerful signal to add to your Performance Max campaigns. Even though your Performance Max campaigns will automatically target the search network, don’t neglect the importance of your search campaigns on their own.

Use search themes within your Performance Max campaigns to find new placements and scale incremental traffic and continue to apply that found insight to your search campaigns. As you build your search campaigns, be sure to incorporate exact match keywords so that they take priority over your Performance Max search theme signals, and you can continue to target, optimize, and refine your newfound traffic.

Use search themes the right way in Performance Max campaigns

Google’s new search themes beta will help advertisers share their human expertise and provide better signals to their machine learning powered Performance Max campaigns. Search themes gives you a little more control over your Performance Max campaigns, making them more effective and tailored for your audience.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


The Easy Guide to Facebook Video Ads for Any Business




The Easy Guide to Facebook Video Ads for Any Business

Social media platforms are focusing more and more on video content. Facebook used to be a place for folks to upload their photos into albums to keep them organized and share what they’d been up to, but with the increase in popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, users are now so much more accustomed to scrolling through endless videos designed to make them laugh, cry, or stay informed. With this change in user behavior, it’s now more important than ever to be sure you’re creating engaging content that cuts through the noise and stands out.

facebook video ad example

An example of a Facebook video ad. 

Video ads on the Meta Business platform (which reaches Facebook and Instagram) is a great way to do this. Although the ability to churn out video ads regularly was reserved for brands with big budgets in years past, new tools and AI have helped democratize this and now any brand can advertise using high-quality videos without spending much at all.

In this post, I want to talk through some best practices for Facebook video ads and show you some tools you can use to execute those strategies.

Table of contents

Facebook video ads best practices

Follow these Facebook video ad tips to squeeze the most out of your Facebook ad costs.

1. Create videos in all aspect ratios

If you’ve used Meta Ads recently, you probably know there are tons of different placements your ads can show up on the network. The good news is that to cover this vast list of placements, you only need to come up with three distinct aspect ratios for your video ads:

facebook video ads ratio chartfacebook video ads ratio chart

Having videos in each of these aspect ratios ensures you’re eligible to show in all the placements you’d like to.

We’ll talk later about how you can make these aspect ratios if you don’t have a dedicated creative team, but in the ad creation process, you’re able to select different video files to fit into each aspect ratio. Facebook will then automatically serve the creative with the right sizing for each spot to ensure you have the best-looking ads.

facebook video ad sizing and resizing screenshotfacebook video ad sizing and resizing screenshot

Now, while it might not seem like a huge deal to have all three ratios, I think it’s actually one of the easiest things you can do to help make sure your ads look good and stand out. In the image above, you can easily see how different an ad will look in the vertical and horizontal placements if you only have a square image. They’re not bad, necessarily, but they certainly don’t have the high-quality, professional look that most users have become accustomed to in recent years.

🛑 Want to know how your Facebook ads are really performing? Find out with our free Facebook Ads Performance Grader!

2. Be prepared for all sound options 

If you’re a Facebook or Instagram user, you’ve likely visited the platforms in all sorts of scenarios. With full sound while sitting on your couch or in your bed. Maybe you have your headphones in while out in public, or maybe you’re even one of those crazy people with their sound up on the subway. But odds are, there have been at least a few instances where you were on those platforms and didn’t have the sound on at all. 

For each of these instances, you were bound to see ads and the level of volume you were using likely had an impact on how sticky those ads were for you. Designing your ads to be digestible regardless of a user’s sound level is highly important.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself while crafting Facebook video ads sounds:

  • Do you have an engaging/entertaining voiceover?
  • Is there music you can choose to fit the mood of the ad?
  • Do you have subtitles for the voiceover in case someone’s sound is off?
  • Is the voiceover clear and easily understandable even in a loud environment?

3. Get your main message across in the first 3 seconds

No matter what the original purpose was for someone to visit social media, the main point is that they’re not there to view your ads. I feel very confident in saying that for the majority of people visiting Facebook or Instagram, they’re not there to see what product or service you’re selling.

Similar to ads on YouTube, users are pretty easily able to skip and scroll past the ads on Facebook and Instagram. That is, unless you run non-skippable ads, but those are pretty rare. So, you need to make sure you’re making a big impact in the first few seconds of your ads…before the remainder of it is skipped. If you do a good job of creating a compelling hook in that short time, you can certainly draw their attention for longer, maybe up to 15-30 seconds, some even longer. But odds are, your views will be short so you need to be front-heavy.

In this time, it’s important to get your business name and core brand messaging across so that even if a user does scroll past you, you’ve at least made that much of an impact. They’ll have a higher chance at brand recall later if they’ve heard your name in that brief intro. This can include text, voiceover, business logos, and more, so be creative, engaging, and entertaining.

4. Blend into the platform aesthetic

In my experience, the best ads on Facebook or Instagram (I’m typically an Instagram user) are ones that blend into the platform aesthetic. The ads that typically entice me the most are the ones I don’t really know are ads until I look down to see the Sponsored messaging down at the bottom.

The best way to discover this is to become a user of the platform itself. For Instagram, go to the Explore tab and type in some of your key terms, maybe the same ones you use for search or maybe some terms that mirror the interest or behavior targeting you’re using for your campaigns.

See what the grid looks like. What shows up? What brands are there? How are they marketing to people? While you may not want to become just part of the noise, blending in allows you to make a greater impact and feel more natural to the audience. 

facebook video ads - example of instagram explore gridfacebook video ads - example of instagram explore gridfacebook video ads - instagram grid examplefacebook video ads - instagram grid example

For example, I have a renewed interest in landscape photography and am in the market for a new camera. If I were a camera brand (or someone selling camera-adjacent things), either of the two grids above could help give an idea of what my ads can/should look like to blend into the platform. Then, make sure you follow the other best practices above to get your message across.

💡 Ready to improve your Facebook ads? Get 16 effective strategies for Facebook ads to try now!

5. Retarget users who engage with your videos

I might be biased, but one of the biggest mistakes I think advertisers make is not retargeting people who watch their Facebook videos. Sure, they might find their way to seeing you again through prospecting or they may remember you enough to come back to your site, but why would you target people (who you seemingly thought were valuable) once, then not work to target them again? Especially after they are already aware of you?

On the Facebook ads platform, you can make audiences of users who have engaged with your videos in many different ways. Just head to the Facebook ads audience manager and choose Video as your source for an audience.

facebook video ads - video audience source screenshot facebook video ads - video audience source screenshot

From there, you can choose how they have interacted with those videos. Did they watch the whole thing? A certain percentage of it? Think about where your value propositions and messaging hits in those videos and be sure to include that in your audience filters.

facebook video ads - video engagement audiencefacebook video ads - video engagement audience

Next, you can choose the videos you want to retarget people from. Yes, you can select only certain videos if you think they’re more impactful, part of a separate campaign, etc.

facebook video ads - audience engagement optionsfacebook video ads - audience engagement options

Lastly, you can choose how long you want to reengage with someone who watched those videos for that amount of time. One error I see is always setting the time frame to the longest possible setting. Now be honest…if you saw a video ad once 180 days ago, do you think you’re still a hot prospect for that brand? Probably not. Make sure you keep that in mind when making these audiences. Higher engagers can likely stick around longer, but lower engagers probably should be let free from your retargeting grasp a bit sooner. 

facebook video ads - audience retention lengthfacebook video ads - audience retention length

Helpful Facebook video ad tools

Now that we have some best practices out of the way, I want to talk about how to make the Facebook video ad creatives. Not every Facebook video ad has to be done by a hugely expensive creative shop. Some can be done just as well with your own means, and sometimes for free! Here are some of the top Facebook video ad creative resources your business can take advantage of:

Yes, phone cameras are acceptable

A big expensive camera only makes world-changing videos when there’s an amazing photographer or videographer behind the lens. For most people, a camera phone will do just fine. In many cases, they’ll do better than if you tried to use an expensive camera due to all the ways the tech companies are making them easier to use.

facebook video ads - apple ios facebook video compatibility facebook video ads - apple ios facebook video compatibility

Next time you need to put together a video, take a shot with your phone first. Many times, those videos will turn out great, and will help fit you into the platform aesthetic naturally as much of the content on Facebook and Instagram is also shot on a phone. 

Facebook’s cropping tool

Once you have a video, there are options in Facebook ads to adjust your creatives for different sizes.

facebook video ad - cropping in facebook video ads using facebook's cropping toolfacebook video ad - cropping in facebook video ads using facebook's cropping tool

In the image above, you can see we have a square video that needs cropped to vertical. Granted, this would be a terrible user experience, but if your video does lend itself to this easy cropping, there is an option directly within Facebook to do that for you.

Facebook video builder

If you don’t already have any creatives and you need to build something almost from scratch, Facebook also has a video creation tool you can use to put together videos.

facebook video ads - facebook video ad builderfacebook video ads - facebook video ad builder

You can use existing images combined with Facebook’s video ad templates to make a video for your account. There are tons of templates that allow you to control for colors, text, timing, and more. Just lead on the user-friendly builder and you’ll end up with a platform-ready Facebook video ad in no time!


While there are some paid in-platform upgrades, Canva is a great tool to get just about any type of creative made (video or otherwise).

facebook video ads - canva video ad templatesfacebook video ads - canva video ad templates

There are countless free templates you can customize to help promote your brand. Canva also includes easy options to convert one theme into a new aspect ratio, helping you to cover all the video sizes as I mentioned above. In short, if you’re a novice to video marketing but need to get something done, you should check Canva out.

Create great Facebook video ads today

Facebook and Instagram video ads are a great way to interact with your customer base and are only getting more necessary as other platforms lean into video. It doesn’t take any particular expertise or deep pockets to get your Facebook video ads up and running. Just a bit of patience and some guidelines and you’re on your way!

When you want to improve your results, follow these Facebook video ad best practices:

  1. Create videos in all aspect ratios
  2. Be prepared for all sound options
  3. Get your main message across in the first 3 seconds
  4. Blend into the platform aesthetic
  5. Retarget users who engage with your videos

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


How to Make a Click-Worthy YouTube Thumbnail (+Free Tools!)




How to Make a Click-Worthy YouTube Thumbnail (+Free Tools!)

With millions of videos vying for attention, your YouTube thumbnails serve as the first point of engagement for potential viewers. These seemingly small images carry significant weight in attracting clicks and views.

YouTube thumbnails provide a snapshot of your video content, setting expectations for what viewers can expect. A well-crafted thumbnail not only piques interest but also conveys the essence of the video.

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about YouTube thumbnails, including tools to create them, tips to keep in mind, and other lessons I’ve learned from running my own YouTube channel.

Table of contents

What is a YouTube thumbnail?

A YouTube thumbnail serves as a visual snapshot of what a video contains. It appears as a small image next to the title of the video on YouTube’s search results page, related videos section, or the recommended videos section.

youtube thumbnail examples on youtube results page

This image plays a crucial role in attracting potential viewers and encouraging them to click on the video. The design and content of this thumbnail often influence the decision of a viewer to watch the video or not. Therefore, it holds significant importance in the world of YouTube content creation.

YouTube thumbnail size

The best YouTube thumbnail size is 1280×720 pixels. This is an aspect ratio of 16:9. The minimum width you should shoot for is 640 pixels.

You should also shoot for a relatively small file size—under 2MB. YouTube thumbnails can be saved as JPGs, GIFs, or PNGs.

YouTube thumbnail tips

Your YouTube journey begins with a single image—the thumbnail. This seemingly small, but critically important element is the initial gateway for your viewers.

“If people don’t click, they don’t watch. So, you want to give them something to click,” said YouTube star MrBeast.

Here are some tips to create effective YouTube thumbnails.

Make them engaging

Think of your thumbnails as digital hooks to capture your audience’s attention. Make them visually striking, vibrant, and engaging.

💕 Want more tips and ideas? We’ve got 130+ for you! Get the guide >> 130+ of the Best Online Marketing Tips for Generating More Traffic, Leads, & Sales

Be consistent

Building a recognizable brand on YouTube starts with consistency in your thumbnail design. A uniform style helps viewers easily identify your content. In addition to consistency in your thumbnail design, keeping a close eye on others in your field who share your audience is a smart strategy.

Checking out what your competitors are up to can give you helpful clues about how many people click on their stuff. This helps you see how your channel’s look, content, titles, and colors stack up, so you can ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

As you can see below, MrBeast’s thumbnails are visually striking and attention-grabbing, featuring bold colors, expressive facial expressions, and compelling imagery. He maintains a consistent style in his thumbnails, making them instantly recognizable to his viewers and helping build a strong brand presence on YouTube.

youtube thumbnail examples from mrbeast youtube channel youtube thumbnail examples from mrbeast youtube channel

Represent your video accurately

Your thumbnail should provide an honest representation of your video. Misleading thumbnails can lead to viewer frustration and backlash.

Create an emotional impact

It’s well known that emotions are contagious. This means that watching someone else have an emotional reaction to something can cause you to have the same reaction.

Humans react to other human faces, and it’s an easy trick to get more people to click on your YouTube videos. Humans will naturally assess the emotional state of the face. When their mouth is open, it’s usually to show that they are surprised. When someone sees this surprised reaction, they are enticed to see what is so surprising.

🚨 Speaking of emotion…get our free guide >> 135 of the Best Words & Phrases for Marketing with Emotion

Learn and adapt

Continuously analyze your analytics to adapt your content and strategy based on audience feedback and changing trends.

The thumbnail below was my first to go well (in relation to my other videos). The simple title in the thumbnail, the upward arrow, society’s current fascination with ChatGPT, the length of the video, me in it—smiling and wearing something that matched the color scheme of the thumbnail. These are things I took note of as potential drivers of success for future videos and thumbnails.

youtube thumbnail ab test example winneryoutube thumbnail ab test example winner


Free YouTube thumbnail makers

Here are a few YouTube thumbnail creation tools to try, including the one I use for all my thumbnails.

1. Fotor

I use an app called Fotor to create my thumbnails. Fotor is a fantastic all-in-one platform that makes thumbnail creation a breeze. It’s an easy-to-use photo editing and graphic design tool, available in web, desktop, and mobile versions. It provides a full suite of tools that cover most image editing needs, including face retouching and image-generative AI.

fotor youtube thumbnail makerfotor youtube thumbnail maker

Fotor also includes advanced AI-powered tools such as background remover, image enlarger, and object remover, which make complex edits simple.

I created a super simple video walkthrough where I use it to create a YouTube thumbnail. Check it out here.

2. Canva

Canva is a design tool (with a free option) that can help you create impactful YouTube thumbnails. Simply navigate to the site, choose YouTube thumbnail as your design option, and find an already-created template to customize or create your own design.

youtube thumbnail maker from canvayoutube thumbnail maker from canva

Within Canva, you can adjust colors, add your own images, and brand your YouTube thumbnail with your business logo.

3. Visme

Visme is another online design tool that makes it easy to create YouTube thumbnails. Like Canva, Visme has already created templates that you can choose and customize according to your branding.

youtube thumbnail maker vismeyoutube thumbnail maker visme

Simply choose your template, customize it, download it, and you’re all set!

Start making effective YouTube thumbnails with ease

Creating a great YouTube thumbnail is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to effective video marketing on the site. But the right YouTube thumbnail strategy can help you build consistency, attract people to click on your videos, and increase engagement with your content.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading